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Top ten desert isle discs:
If you were stuck on a desert island and could have only 10 cd's which would you choose? My friend Louie would pick 10 Pink Floyd albums but for me, I would want the most variety within my musical taste. There are no right or wrong answers; just your own opinion and taste. Even 10 Pink Floyd albums is not wrong. :-)
Go to the guest page and list your 10. (Guestbook is now open) Here are mine, subject to change the day of the trip :
Joe Henry - "Civilians" A recent release doesn't often move on to my all time list, but this has quickly become one of my favorite albums ever!
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong : Ella and Louis
This is not negotiable. My favorite album of jazz standards and 2 giants on 1 CD.
Bob Marley : Legends
You're going to a desert island and your not going to bring any reggae?
Stevie Wonder : Songs in the Key of Life
I may need some of his affirmative vibe out there. Double album counts as one on my island! But box sets are disqualified.
Lyle Lovett : Step Inside This House
Another double album. Lyle does covers of Texas songwriters including Townes Van Zant and Guy Clark. A truly beautiful album.
I know. I had the Second Album up here for a while. It seemed like a good idea at the time but I just can't be without Rubber Soul in my life. So, since I'm not on the island yet, I changed the list.
Beethoven Symphonies #5 & #7 : The Cleveland Orchestra Christoph von Dohnanyi:
A tropical sunset, rum and coke and Beethoven. Life is good on the island.
This one is also not negotiable. Everyone who has ever met me has heard the name. (except the pharmacist at Drug Fair) If you don't know this album, you should. It's an acoustic mix of folk, blues, soulful R&B and country. "Can't Stop Thinking About You" is the best blues song since Al Kooper's "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know"
Cassandra Wilson : New Moon Daughter
I get one of my favorite contemporary jazz vocalists plus covers of U-2, Son House, Neil Young, Boyce and Hart, Hank Williams, Lewis Allan, and some originals.
Jackson Browne : For Everyman
I don't expect this to make too many other lists but it's a personal favorite. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Bonnie Raitt, Elton John, and David Crosby all perform on this one.
Just missed : The Smiths - "Hatful of Hollow" or "Meat is Murder" // Dylan - "Blood on the Tracks" // Van Morrison - "Astral Weeks" or "Moondance" // Aretha Franklin - "I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You" // The Clash - "London Calling" // Led Zeppelin - II // Elvis Presley - Sun Sessions // Miles Davis - "Kind of Blue" // Springsteen - Wild, Innocent.... // Marvin Gaye - Greatest hits // The Violent Femmes - "Hallowed Ground" // Aztec Two Step - 1st Album // Dave Brubeck - "Time Out" // Jimi Hendrix - "Axis Bold As Love" // Roy Orbison - Greatest Hits // Sinatra - The Colombia Years // Ray Charles - "Modern Sounds of Country Western Music" // Original Cast - West Side Story // Jackson Browne - "Late For The Sky" // The Strawbs - "Hero and Heroine" ( I wonder if they have fed-ex on the island?)
If I was limited to ten songs on the Island :
Again, no right or wrong answers, but you better pick songs of which you will never tire. I can't count how many times I've heard each of these songs and yet I still stop in my tracks whenever I hear them.
Joe Henry- God Only Knows : I simply just can't get tired of this haunting prayer
Cassandra Wilson - Love Is Blindness : Her cover of the U-2 song is stunning
Les Nubians - Brothers and Sisters : Spiritual reggae - hip hop tune is inspiring
Ella Fitzgerald - It's Alright With Me : Cole Porter tune really swings with Ella
Tal Mahal - Senor Blues : My favorite version of the Horace Silver jazz classic
Martin Sexton - Can't Stop Thinking About You : A stunning jazzy blues performance
Angelique Kidjo - Summertime : Gershwin like you've never imagined
Lyle Lovett - Flying Shoes : Beautiful cover of the Townes Van Zandt tune
The Waterboys - Fishermans Blues : Irish tune will always remind me of Tanny
The Smiths - Well I wonder : Haunting melody and beautiful simple guitar work
Eric Clapton - Old Love : The unplugged version is timeless
Dianne Reeves - Old Country : Swing tune from my favorite contemporary jazz singer
The Pogues - Fairytale on New York : Amusing and poignant Irish immigrant love story
Mamas and Papas - California Dreaming : My favorite vocal arrangement in pop music
Bruce Springsteen - New York City Serenade : By far my favorite from the Jersey boy.
Ray Charles (or Leon Russell) - A Song For You : Leon wrote this modern standard
That's already more than ten. I'll edit the day of the trip. On any given day I might shuffle things a bit to include any of the following:
Richard Shindell - Fishing, Rod Stewart - Maggie May, Bob Marley - Redemption Song, Peter Gabriel - Sky Blue, Sarah Vaughn or Janis Joplin - Summertime, The Strawbs - Autumn Trilogy, The Doors - Soft Parade, Cassandra Wilson - Death Letter, Neville Brothers - Yellow Moon, Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me, John Coltrane - Favorite Things, Jackson Browne - Adams Song
Recent films highly recommended
The Visitor - Persopolis(animated) - In Bruges - Garden State - The Station Agent- Sideways - Closer To Home - House of Sand and Fog - Mystic River - Million Dollar Baby - Monster's Ball - Crash - Mad Hot Ballroom - Goodnight and Good Luck- Juno
Foreign and Indie Films
I'm not claiming that these are the best foreign films ever made, but ones that I love and feel that most people would enjoy if they gave them a chance. Try one, you'll like it!!!
House Of Flying Daggers- China: A beautiful tragedy worthy of Shakespeare, it's one of the most visual delights my eyes have seen.
Shall We Dance - Japan : Funny, charming and touching. Every day after work a man in mid-life crisis looks up from the subway station and spies a beautiful young dance instructor in the studio above the station. One day on impulse he rushes up to the studio and enrolls in classes with the hope of meeting his fantasy, only to discover that the beginners class is taught by a little old lady. After a few classes the young instructor begins to suspect why he is really there and tells him if he is there because of her then he should leave. On the verge of leaving he comes to the realization that he can't leave because he loves to dance!!
Shadow Magic - China : A young man who works in a photography studio in Bejing in the early 1900's is intrigued by the strange westerner who has come to town with pictures that move. The locals take to calling these motion pictures "shadow magic". As the young man starts to become more and more involved with this strange westerner, all the people important to him advise him not to disgrace his family, to respect his fathers wishes and to honor his cultural traditions. The strange westerner advises only to "follow your heart".
Jean de Florette - French : A city slicker inherits a farm with hopes of starting a new life. With his weather charts and books he's figured out just how to succeed. What he doesn't know is that his greedy new neighbors, who covet the land, have plugged the spring which they know is essential for the farm to thrive. Gerard Depardieu is mesmerizing as the optimistic farmer. This beautiful film is a rich commentary on greed, friendship and love. One of my favorite films.
Manon of the Spring - French : The sequel to Jean de Florette is equally beautiful. After you love "Jean de Florette" you will rush out to rent Manon.
Cinema Paradiso - Italian : A young boy in post WWII Italy is captivated by the movies shown in his tiny village theater and befriends the seemingly crabby but actually warm hearted projectionist. Years later, after the death of the projectionist, he returns to the village to find his friend has left a gift for him. The ending of this movie is so perfect and touching that it raises the status of the film to "must see".